PRSSA National Conference

This past weekend I had the most incredible opportunity to go to PRSSA’s national conference in Indianapolis, IN.

This conference filled Indianapolis with public relations students as well as public relations professionals and advisors. This conference was a huge networking, advising, and educating event for everyone that made their appearance. This was my first year attending the conference. As a senior this was a huge eye opening moment for me. I had the opportunity to meet potential future internships, employers, and even graduate schools. One of the sessions that I very much enjoyed was the session with the Warner Brothers Television publicity team. At this session I was able to gain insight and learn about what PR looks like within the entertainment and television world.

However my absolute favorite session had to be with the public relations team of Vera Bradley. Not only was Vera Bradley one of the main brands that were featured at the conference, Vera Bradley made a huge connection with each PR student and helped them understand what the public relations and marketing department looked like for Vera Bradley.

Vera Bradley had recently been rebranded. The new rebrand campaign that Vera Bradley has been promoting is It’s Good to Be a Girl. The PR and marketing team had a great plan and intentions for the rebrand. Vera Bradley has been very successful in the past. However it was time for a change. Most people would be able to recognize the style and designs of the brand’s distinctive patterns and texture. The age rage for the typical Vera Bradley audience would range from the elementary school age girls up to 80 years old. It had become clear that the face and targeted girl for Vera Bradley had somehow slowly faded away. Vera Bradley needed to come up with some fresh and new to engage their audience and excite their customers again. This is where Vera Bradley initiated their campaign It’s Good to Be a Girl.

The team wanted to re-center their target audience. They wanted their target “girl” to be carried by Vera Bradley from the start of the first day of school, graduation, and then on to the next chapters of her life. Vera Bradley then created new additions to the company products such as jewelry, perfume, and more variety of their own famous baggage and accessories. A part of this new campaign was to create an outreach and find a commonality between the target audience and Vera Bradley as a whole. The company wanted to create a bigger purpose for their brand and get people involved. And so they have.

I love Vera Bradley and after this past session I was able to reaffirm that and what I want to do after graduation in the public relations world. I want to work for a company like Vera Bradley- big organization but with high impact into the community. I was able to learn that there are big and high end organizations that do want to make a difference and reach out. I want to find those people and make that happen through the world of PR.

Over all the national conference has had a significant impact on me especially through the rebranding session on Vera Bradley. I have not only been motivated or encouraged but also affirmed. I am reminded that I am at where I am for a purpose and that I am talented at it. I am also affirmed that my heart for others and making a difference will make an impact on this world through the eyes of public relations- thank you Vera Bradley for also contributing to that.



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